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Author Topic: Is it possible to assign Shift Button + Spinner = Computer Audio Volume control?  (Read 5897 times)

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ARTIFACT

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Is it possible to assign Shift Button + Spinner to the Computer's Audio Volume control?

I have this neat bluetooth keyboard that has a built-in endless dial to control volume - of course I won't use that on my cab when it's built, but this gave me an idea... Why shouldn't I use the spinner that's already going on my CP for that... hold a button and dial volume up or down, voila!

I am thinking of buying the Turbo Twist BTW (still not set yet), if that makes a difference.

I believe MAME or MaLa (I use both) has some options to assign volume controls to buttons/joysticks already - dial is possible?

Thanks!

ahofle

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I doubt it's possible using a keyboard interface's shift key, but that is a great idea if you could get it to work some other way.

SavannahLion

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Yes, you can.

Most of the tools I've Googled for in the past, such as WheelOfVolume, Soundwheel, VolumeTray and Volumouse come from some really hinky sources. Not something I want to deal with with the risk of Trojans, Adware and other ---That which is odiferous and causeth plants to grow--- nonsense. With such a proliferation of software that all essentially do the exact same thing makes me to believe that, with a little research and a copy of VB, anybody can write their own custom utility.

ARTIFACT

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well,

at least I know I can setup mame (or mala - cant remember which) to assign volume control on the joystick ... I do it with my X-Arcade.
I'll do some experiments to see if it lets me assign from the spinner. if not, it'll be from Joystick 2 (+ press a button under CP or something)

SHare your volume control ideas!

RandyT

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With such a proliferation of software that all essentially do the exact same thing makes me to believe that, with a little research and a copy of VB, anybody can write their own custom utility.

Doing something like this probably isn't as simple in code as one might first think.  It would seem necessary to hook the keyboard (as a keylogger spy app might do) in order to watch for a specific keypress.  When that keypress is sensed, the app would then need to seamlessly take focus away from the current app and restore it when finished (or hook mouse events) in order to see by how much and in which direction to adjust the volume.

I can't think of a different, or particularly simple way of doing this.  But if anyone else has another way, I'd be happy to be contradicted.


As for other volume control ideas, why not just a stereo speaker volume control?  I've been thinking of stocking some of these that would handle about 15watts RMS.  Any interest?

RandyT


leapinlew

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Any interest?

Yes, I'm interested. I would love to have something easy to install that allows me to control the volume. I would gladly pay up to $25. Much more than that and I'd deal with it.

RandyT

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Any interest?

Yes, I'm interested. I would love to have something easy to install that allows me to control the volume. I would gladly pay up to $25. Much more than that and I'd deal with it.

Too much.  I'll have to do some testing of the part I have in mind, but I can't see it costing anywhere near that.

RandyT

ARTIFACT

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Thanks for dropping by this thread Randy :)

That would be neat... Perhaps a key combination.

FYI right now I have this setup on my X-Arcade stick... press and hold the left pinball button and the P2 stick up/down controls volume ... I do not know if this was setup in MaLa (I think it is) or MAME.

RandyT

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That would be neat... Perhaps a key combination.

This would be a simple, external volume knob that gets the job done.  Would need to be added to the cabinet somewhere (top?). 

Quote
FYI right now I have this setup on my X-Arcade stick... press and hold the left pinball button and the P2 stick up/down controls volume ... I do not know if this was setup in MaLa (I think it is) or MAME.

That type of operation would be a great thing to add to a front-end.  As long as one understood that it would only work from the FE, not in MAME or other programs launched by it.  For system wide functionality, it would need to be implemented at the driver level, or by hooking the keyboard and mouse messages.  Even then, it might not work with some applications.

RandyT

Austin.Wolff

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Make it hardware?  If you could extend the axis on the spinner to a pot...

ARTIFACT

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This would be a simple, external volume knob that gets the job done.  Would need to be added to the cabinet somewhere (top?). 

Yes if you could make one that plugs to USB (easy wiring / setup) and gets teh job done, I bet pretty much everyone here would buy one (myself included).
I know how much work goes into developing these products, but a sensible price point for this would be $15 I think (IF you can pull it off - again I know how much it all ends up costing even for simple things).

thanks + keep up the good work.

Xiaou2

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 At  www.nonags.com  , I found programs that do what you
are asking.   

 link: http://www.nonags.com/nonags/autools.html


 I installed one called  "volctrl"   And tested it with winamp,
as well as the latest mame binary.   Works great.

 (right click on vol control in the taskbar for the options)

 There are others there too.   Many of which can use the mouse
wheel.   This would be good if used with a spinner...

 There is already one USB volume controller out there.  I forget the
name.  Many wanted to try to use it as a spinner...  however, its not
high res nor free spinning.


 As for others wanting a USB volume control (that is not interfacing
with a spinner+keypress) ... that seems really silly.    As anyone could simply use
the Pot from the Audio Amp they probably hacked in the first place?

 
« Last Edit: August 08, 2007, 12:01:17 am by Xiaou2 »

ARTIFACT

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As for others wanting a USB volume control (that is not interfacing
with a spinner+keypress) ... that seems really silly.    As anyone could simply use
the Pot from the Audio Amp they probably hacked in the first place?


Not everyone is comfortable soldering pots and wires o their amp circuit, or have a messy hacked amp hanging somewhere on their cab - I have a decased PC speaker amp on my cab and am not sure I want to expose its pots outside of the cab. Hence this post ... looking for a possibly more "elegant and simple" solution.

Yes I believe there is one model out there.

ahofle

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RandyT

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Making a USB device to do this is pretty simple, but the actual control ends up being the costly part.  Unless one wanted dedicated pushbuttons for Vol+ and Vol-.

The best bet may be to contact the author of VoluMouse and see if he can allow for the use of any mouse axis instead of just Z.  But if you have your mouse on Z, you might just be in business.  I'll do some tests with mine and see how well it works.

RandyT

RandyT

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There are others there too.   Many of which can use the mouse
wheel.   This would be good if used with a spinner...

I think finding one that works within MAME is going to be a trick.  Volumouse was a bust, at least under 98.  For some reason, The sensitivity didn't work quite right either.

Quote
As for others wanting a USB volume control (that is not interfacing with a spinner+keypress) ... that seems really silly.    As anyone could simply use the Pot from the Audio Amp they probably hacked in the first place?

I don't know how silly it is.  What makes you think everyone hacked the amp that is in their machine or would even want to?  That kind of thing is a pretty substantial task when compared with simply plugging a Griffen device into the USB port.

Personally though, rather than take the chance that the controls would get screwy by attempting to dual-purpose them, I'd just prefer a simple, dedicated volume control knob somewhere on the machine.

RandyT

ARTIFACT

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OK cool ebay is full of Griffin PowerMates at a good price

problem solved :)

Neilyboy

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or do buy.com and use google checkout to -10.00 off the order and have it shipped for 26 bucks..

Neil

leapinlew

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OK cool ebay is full of Griffin PowerMates at a good price

problem solved :)

I still would like a clean solution that doesn't have a wire sticking out, can mount permanently, doesn't have a big base, a blue glowing light, and stays connected. My powermate likes to disconnect and I have to replug the USB. It will then work for a few hours or a few weeks. It also is just sitting on my jukebox and not mounted.

ahofle

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Yeah I liked the original idea.  I may have to experiment with this in C#.  I found an article on capturing global keystrokes and mouse events: (http://www.codeproject.com/csharp/globalhook.asp) .  Really, the only remaining item would be to adjust the volume in windows which I imagine isn't very difficult.  I'll keep you guys updated.

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With such a proliferation of software that all essentially do the exact same thing makes me to believe that, with a little research and a copy of VB, anybody can write their own custom utility.

Doing something like this probably isn't as simple in code as one might first think.  It would seem necessary to hook the keyboard (as a keylogger spy app might do) in order to watch for a specific keypress.  When that keypress is sensed, the app would then need to seamlessly take focus away from the current app and restore it when finished (or hook mouse events) in order to see by how much and in which direction to adjust the volume.

I debated with myself whether I should argue my point. I eventually realized it was probably better to produce a poc than to try and argue or prove any point. I respect your opinion Randy, but please don't make the assumption that I'm just some wannabe code junkie. I'm not established here, but I've written my share of applications.

In any case, someone else seems to want to try.
Yeah I liked the original idea.  I may have to experiment with this in C#.  I found an article on capturing global keystrokes and mouse events: (http://www.codeproject.com/csharp/globalhook.asp) .  Really, the only remaining item would be to adjust the volume in windows which I imagine isn't very difficult.  I'll keep you guys updated.

ahofle

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Well I tested the mouse/key capturing functionality and it works perfectly in MAME without taking away focus or anything.  I also have code to adjust the windows wave mixer volume.  I was thinking of allowing either a 2-key pair for up/down volume adjustment (for those without a spinner/trackball) as well as mouse adjustment, both of which will activate when holding down a user-configurable hotkey.  I also need to integrate saved settings support (ini file maybe).  So there is still some work to be done, but I have enough of an interest in this now that I will definitely put something together.

I found a few programs on the web that do similar things, but they aren't very cabinet friendly.  One guy went so far as to show a semi-transparent slider popup as you adjusted the volume, but didn't even allow you to customize the hotkeys!  :laugh2:

SavannahLion

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What the deuce? I'm keep trying to edit my last post and it won't "take." Bleh.

ahofle, are you testing with a key combination capture or a single key capture?

RandyT

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I debated with myself whether I should argue my point. I eventually realized it was probably better to produce a poc than to try and argue or prove any point. I respect your opinion Randy, but please don't make the assumption that I'm just some wannabe code junkie. I'm not established here, but I've written my share of applications.

Ok, but you said VB, not C#.  I have researched this type of thing pretty exhaustively for other reasons in the past.  Here's a quote from one of the sites researched:

-----------
Before you get excited, though, VB on its own cannot be used to create a system-wide hook. This is because the hook procedure must reside within a Windows DLL, and VB cannot create these beasts (because you cannot specify to export the HookProc function). Also I should point out that system-wide hooks aren't much fun to write: you can't debug them very easily, and if anything goes wrong it takes your whole system down! If you have some C/C++ knowledge, however, there are various samples of creating system-wide hooks at MSDN and CodeGuru.
-----------

While it can be done, by using hooks as I stated, "simple" is relative especially as it concerns the use of VB to do these kinds of things.  And doing this kind of thing is "frowned upon" in many circles because it uses exactly the same mechanism as covert key-logging software, etc.  With very little extra code, the very same utility you use to provide this functionality can be used to log every keystroke you make to a file somewhere, which can then be transmitted to unknown persons for nefarious purposes.  If you value the information you type (passwords, credit card numbers, etc) one should be very cautious about installing software that does this kind of thing, especially if it comes from some unknown "eastern block" author, as one of the examples posted by Xiaou2 obviously did.  Some (like MS) go to great lengths to intervene with the functionality required to do this type of thing and for good reason.  But if Ahofle can put one together that works, I think we can trust him ;)

The other thing to be concerned about / aware of is Windows cross-platform compatibility, how upcoming changes in the way MAME collects input might affect the operation of said code, and so on.  Even the linked article states that 95/98 can only use application level hooking, not system wide.  So I guess my cab is out  :P

I made no assumptions about you or your abilities.  I do a lot in VB, and if it were "simple" I would have just knocked out the app instead of posting that it's not that simple to do well.  I even posted that I tested a finished app that purports to provide the functionality and it failed under MAME.  I'm guessing there's probably a reason for that.

 :dunno

RandyT
« Last Edit: August 08, 2007, 02:14:01 pm by RandyT »

Tiger-Heli

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Controlling the volume with the mouse wheel can be done using AutoHotKey.

Here is a list of AHK scripts other have written.

Here is one that uses the keyboard keys.

Here is a modification of the above to use the mouse wheel (could likely be further modified to use a mouse axis.

I have played with the first one in XP, but have no idea about Win98 or MAME compatibility.  There are a few other volume control scripts on the first link that might be useful as well.

HTH!!!!
It's not what you take when you leave this world behind you, it's what you leave behind you when you go. - R. Travis.
When all is said and done, generally much more is SAID than DONE.

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I was trying to edit the mention of VB out for a similar reason you stated, but the changes refused to take. Internet Gods must be frowning on me. I even had a har time posting this response. QUICK! I need a chicken, salt and five black candles made from the fat of humans to break the curse!

That's the thing that really irritates the hell out of me. Functionality that should be (or was) trivial is made impossible because some skript kiddie ---fudgesicle--- wants to pretend to be a hacker. Especially when you get snubbed by more experienced developers when trying to achieve some measure of functionality. I can't count the times I've turned to actual virii itself just to figure out how to do something for less "nefarious" reasons. I've even lost time and money on jobs because MS decided to make fundamental changes in a feeble attempt to stave off disease negating months (in one case, years) worth of code.   :angry:

I think that's why I moved to Linux. Even though it's a mismash of techniques, I can at least regain some (if not all) of that control by making my own changes to the underlying code.

ahofle

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ahofle, are you testing with a key combination capture or a single key capture?

For the hotkey, I'm looking for a keydown event.  While that's still held down, I receive all other key and mouse events so all I need to do is wait for the keydown of the hotkey, set a boolean and wait for the other input to adjust the volume.  Once the hotkey is released, I get a keyup event and set the boolean back to false and continue listening.

Quote
The other thing to be concerned about / aware of is Windows cross-platform compatibility, how upcoming changes in the way MAME collects input might affect the operation of said code, and so on.  Even the linked article states that 95/98 can only use application level hooking, not system wide.  So I guess my cab is out  Tongue

I just noticed that too -- typical Bill Gates.  Having only recently been forced to upgrade to XP from 98 on my cabinet, I feel for you.  I'll see what else I can find for Win9X.

Molinero

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I actually use Volumouse and it works fine .. don't worry about any trojans. I planning on using it in my jukebox project. I hooked up a small test rig with a scroll wheel from a mouse and it works. It's not pretty though. Whether it works with MAME or not .. I have no idea.

ahofle

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If someone finds a volume program out there that:

1) allows a configurable 'hotkey'
2) allows mouse x/y axis AND/OR a configurable pair of keys to control volume
3) works with MAME

...please let me know so I quit wasting my time.  :P
Most of the programs I've found listen for windows keys or use the mouse scroll wheel which isn't very useful to the majority of people around here with cabinets.

RandyT

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...please let me know so I quit wasting my time.  :P

Please continue to waste your time.  And don't forget to include a configurable "volume" steps option.  Volumouse only works on Z, which is more sensitive at the desktop than the other two axes, and when coupled with a high-res spinner....well, you get the picture.  Even though this volume step option seemed to be present, it did not seem to work very well.

Also, Volumouse is the one I tested that failed under MAME.  While it looked like a nice program, it fell short on a few fronts.  I doubt anyone will find one that does what this community wants "out of the box."

RandyT

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I use VolumeTray.  My Ipac shift button held down, then I can use the player one's joystick up and down to adjust the volume.  Works everywhere for me.  Not as fancy as a volume knob but serves its purpose perfect for me.

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I use VolumeTray.  My Ipac shift button held down, then I can use the player one's joystick up and down to adjust the volume.  Works everywhere for me.  Not as fancy as a volume knob but serves its purpose perfect for me.

good to know!

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If the volume was controlled by a button (keyboard key) plus spinner, how would somebody configure it to work with a shazam?  I realize that I could set it up to work with a button that wasn't my shazam, or I could use it with shazam+another button, but what if I just wanted shazam + spinner to control volume, is there a way in your plans ahofle that would allow this, or a configuration Randy that would essentially set the shazam to be a standard button and the shazam.  I think I've seen that second option somewhere I suppose I could search, but I'm at work and shouldn't even be reading the forum right now.  I imagine some combination of relays and diodes could make 1 button trigger shazam and another keypress.

ahofle

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If the volume was controlled by a button (keyboard key) plus spinner, how would somebody configure it to work with a shazam?  I realize that I could set it up to work with a button that wasn't my shazam, or I could use it with shazam+another button, but what if I just wanted shazam + spinner to control volume, is there a way in your plans ahofle that would allow this, or a configuration Randy that would essentially set the shazam to be a standard button and the shazam.  I think I've seen that second option somewhere I suppose I could search, but I'm at work and shouldn't even be reading the forum right now.  I imagine some combination of relays and diodes could make 1 button trigger shazam and another keypress.

I can't speak for RandyT and the keywiz, but I'm pretty sure that it won't work with a shift or shazam key unfortunately.  At least in the case of the IPAC, it suppresses the necessary keydown that I need.  In notepad for example, if I press and hold the '1' key (my IPAC shift key), nothing appears until I release it.  In other words, there is no way to tell if when the key is held down.

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OK here's the first attempt.  Everything seems to work, but settings are not saved when you exit.  Please let me know if anyone finds any problems.  Oh, and you'll need the .NET framework 2.0 to run this: 

.NET framework

Here's the app:
http://hofle.com/mame/CabVol.zip
« Last Edit: August 09, 2007, 01:07:43 pm by ahofle »

ARTIFACT

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omg!!!

you are fast my friend wow

my cab is in pieces right now, and i dont have my spinner yet - so i cant test.

btw will this work with any spinner?

thanks for the hard work.

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or a configuration Randy that would essentially set the shazam to be a standard button and the shazam.  I think I've seen that second option somewhere I suppose I could search, but I'm at work and shouldn't even be reading the forum right now.  I imagine some combination of relays and diodes could make 1 button trigger shazam and another keypress.
See "I-PAC Compatibility Mode" here: http://www.mameworld.net/tigerheli/encoder/shiftkeys.htm
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RandyT

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I can't speak for RandyT and the keywiz, but I'm pretty sure that it won't work with a shift or shazam key unfortunately.

If you really wanted a dedicated button on the panel, then a "Shazaaam! Adapter" is what you'd need (or make one yourself with a couple of diodes. 

But to be honest, I gave up on the software under 98.  I tried installing the .NET framework on my machine and it just hung after decompressing the files.  Tried everything to no avail.  Tried it on another 98 machine, and was able to get the .NET framework installed.  But then when I tried to run the app, it complained of a security policy problem, which I was unable to figure out how to rectify using the .NET configuration tool.  I think the next time someone complains about programs done in VB, I'll just tell them to be thankful they didn't use .NET.  :P

I'll give it a go under XP and see what happens....hopefully .NET 2.0 already lives in the OS somewhere and it will work.

RandyT


ahofle

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I'll give it a go under XP and see what happens....hopefully .NET 2.0 already lives in the OS somewhere and it will work.

I'm pretty sure it's not already included unfortunately.  It used to appear as a non-critical windows update, but I haven't checked in a while.

OK I think it's pretty much ready to go.  I added the pref saving and everything seems to work well (tested on 3 different machines).  Please let me know if anyone has any problems with it.

http://hofle.com/mame/CabVol.zip


RandyT

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Ok, I installed .NET Framework 2.0 on the XP machine and it worked.  I don't have MAME on that machine so I couldn't test it.  But if you tested it under MAME and it worked, then that's cool.

Just curious, did you use the 98 exclusionary method?

Also, is there any way to connect the control to the Master volume level rather than the Wave output?

Nice job.

RandyT